Well as I have said in my earlier post I am currently working on some tech related to 2D gaming. Actually, working against the clock to finish the current project, which on all accounts is somewhat of a diversion from my main goal. However it has also given me time to retrospect and understand how things are in the world of 2D gaming (when compared to 3D). No, it doesn’t mean I am giving up on 3D, actually most of the tech I am using is from the O2 Game Engine, custom fitted to the 2D technology I am working on. Basically 2D is 3D with a fixed Z. People generally move from 2D to 3D but I seemed to have moved the other way around. The whole experience is kinda funny, because I can now truly appreciate how things with 2D really are.
Building quality 2D games is a lot easier than building quality 3D games. Actually creating 2D games is an order of magnitude easier than 3D, or so I have heard 😀 . Having said that, the foundations of both technologies are extremely similar. Most of the tech I have designed for 2D is almost a reflection of the O2 Engine. True, it is not as complicated as the 3D engine, but majority of the higher level design is similar to what was already put into the main 3D engine. I had initially decided to use the 3D engine as is, but the O2 engine is just far too complex for 2D. There were too many things that didn’t feel right for simple 2D. So it made sense to use an already existing third party 2D engine and parts of the O2 game engine to build the higher level framework that was missing. Simplicity was the deciding factor, since the primary focus of the tech is quick 2D game development and prototyping.
The second and most compelling reason was time. The project has be finished quickly in a matter of weeks so majority of the focus has been on using and integrating already existing tools and libraries. The project on the whole is simple, but it has a complex UI and involves integration of a lot of libraries with a lot of functionality exposed via the UI, making the game builder UI the major challenge (more than the engine and the tech).
The project is still very much under development. I will post some screens and more details as soon as we hit alpha stages.